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Review: Fallen World #3

Fallen World #3

In Fallen World #3, the mind-controlled Bloodshot enlists the help of the Church Fallen to further his nefarious plans!

Rai comes face-to-face with the animalistic hybrids of the Kor’Tunga clan! Can Rai stop the resurrection of Father, his greatest enemy, before it’s too late?

Fallen World #3 follows two main plot threads. The first features Rai and Noah as the pair race back to Sontaku Sector to warn them about Father’s impending return. The second finds Gilad and the Geomancer as they’re introduced to War Mother and her sentient gun. The second plot thread is one of the first times we’ve seen War Mother interact with another character from a series other than her own in Valiant’s future timeline. It makes it a momentous occasion. The meeting of War Mother, the Eternal Warrior, and the Geomancer provides some oddly humourous interactions.

The comic expands upon the denizens of the Earth in the year 4002 A.D. It reveals a little more about the state of the world beneath New Japan and their feelings about the fallen city.

Written by Dan Abnett with art by Adam Polina and colors by Ulises Arreola Fallen World #3 is a solid entry in the series. Though it’s not quite as good as the previous issue. That ultimately isn’t a huge deal given the quality of the series as a whole thus far.

My love for this series is, in part, due to the analogs to our current world. There are clear problems between humans and their former slaves, the artificially intelligent positrons. This leads to some powerfully haunting moments in the first issue. The second issue introduced us to a religious sect that worship Father – or rather their idea of Father, crafted to suit their needs. It’s a series of undertones that add what all great science fiction has. That’s a powerful modern relevance despite the book being set two thousand years in the future. The third issue has added an interesting commentary on a foreign body trying to impose its will on the existent population. It’s a population that is less than thrilled with the proposition being offered by the foreign body.

If there’s any flaw here, it’s in the presentation. As art is often subjective the issues I had with the art, minor though they are, aren’t really worth bringing up. But I will to explain what I mean. There are going to be so many people out there who love the artwork in this comic – and they’re not wrong to do so. Art’s subjective. Just because the style of this issue didn’t resonate with me, doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It’s actually technically very good; the lines are clean, the colors are vibrant and the layouts are interesting. But certain parts of the style just don’t quite work for me.

That said, this comic is still remarkable in what it achieves. Abnett and Pollina build upon everything they’ve laid out in the first two issues. Whether it’s a doubling down on the themes and commentary within the comic, or establishing the direction for the final two issues (and the inevitable confrontation between our heroes and Father), Fallen World #3 is a solid entry in the series.

Although Fallen World #3 didn’t quite grab me the same way the other two issues did, this is still a solid comic by a creative team who are for the most part firing on all cylinders. This event is shaping up to be something special.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Adam Pollina
Colors: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powell
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Fallen World #3 (of 5)

FALLEN WORLD #3 (of 5)

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by BRETT BOOTH with ADELSO CORONA and ANDREW DALHOUSE
Cover B by FERNANDO DAGNINO with ULISES ARREOLA
Cover C by CASPER WIJNGAARD
Pre-Order Edition by DAVID MACK
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 10th

The mind-controlled Bloodshot enlists the help of the Church Fallen to further his nefarious plans!

Rai comes face-to-face with the animalistic hybrids of the Kor’Tunga clan!

Can Rai stop the resurrection of Father, his greatest enemy, before it’s too late?

FALLEN WORLD #3

Review: Fallen World #2

Get ready for Fallen World #2, the second thrilling chapter in Valiant’s explosive event series!

Rai’s creator and most dangerous foe has returned! The cyborg samurai faces an impossible challenge. Can he stop his greatest enemy from gaining even more power? 

Fallen World is series that uses the building blocks established in 2016’s 4001 A.D. and the final arc of Rai that was published concurrently. Although you can still enjoy the current series without having read the 2016 books that laid the ground work, you may very well miss the weight of some of the connections between characters (re)introduced in this issue – and possibly some of those yet to come. It isn’t the end of the world, however, to not fully grasp the intricacies of those relationships and the back story that you’ve missed if you’re starting with Fallen World. Valiant’s propensity for ensuring that new readers are able to start (almost) anywhere is on full display here, and you’ll get the bare bones of the previous events – and that’s honestly all you need.

Written by Dan Abnett with art by Adam Polina and colours by Ulises Arreola Fallen World #2 is every bit as good as the previous issue.

My love for this series is, in part, due to the analogues to our current world. There are clear problems between humans and their former slaves, the artificially intelligent positrons, leading to some powerfuly haunting moments in the first issue. The second issue introduces us to a religious sect that worship Father – or rather their idea of Father, crafted to suit their needs. It’s a series of undertones that add what all great science fiction has, and that is a powerful modern relevance despite the book being set two thousand years in the future.

In terms of the characters themselves, the plot is rather straight forward as Abnett focuses on establishing some pieces that will play out deeper into the series; the threat of Father’s new body, the possible solution to that and the end page reveal. All pieces to the tapestry that he and Pollina are weaving with the story.

My expectations were pretty high coming into the second issue, especially given how I felt about the first (as a side note, Fallen World #1 was the first comic I bought two copies of because I liked the covers – usually I buy a couple copies if one is a blank sketch variant). This issue is one of those comics that narrows down the scope and focus of the story, and ends up making the entire premise that much stronger.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Adam Pollina
Colors: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powell
Story: 9.1 Art: Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Fallen World #2 (of 5)

FALLEN WORLD #2 (of 5)

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by SANFORD GREENE
Cover B by DECLAN SHALVEY
Cover C by NIK VIRELLA
Pre-Order Edition Cover by DIEGO YAPUR with ULISES ARREOLA
On sale June 5th, 2019
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color 

Get ready for the second thrilling chapter in Valiant’s explosive event series!

Rai’s creator and most dangerous foe has returned! The cyborg samurai faces an impossible challenge. Can he stop his greatest enemy from gaining even more power?

FALLEN WORLD #2 (of 5)

Review: The Forgotten Queen #4

The Forgotten Queen #4

Vexana’s true origin story is revealed in The Forgotten Queen #4! How does it change the history of the Valiant Universe? You thought you had family drama? Try being an immortal conqueror!

Whereas the previous issue had a plot that kept me engaged from beginning to end, The Forgotten Queen #4 plays off the revelation from the previous issue as Vexana’s first days as an immortal are retold in greater detail, which brings the story full circle – though it also has the adverse effect of making everything seem too familiar.

The best way for me to describe this comic, is that it is a comic of moments. Moments that are going to linger with you long after you’ve finished the comic. These moments, such as the culmination of the segment of the comic on the beach are fantastically memorable, but they’re not the entirety of the comic.

Tini Howard gives us about half a comic that is essential reading for Valiant fans looking to find out more about Vexana and her relationship with the characters we know and love, and half a comic that seems to just miss the mark (perhaps a perfect example of this is a panel with either flying fish, or a mis-coloured sea floor; the art is solid, but a lack of clarity regarding the colouring takes you out of the moment.

The focus on last issue’s revelation hampers the issue a little. It’s a choice that I wouldn’t change though. There’s a lot of throwbacks to some earlier Valiant issues that you’ll read with new eyes because of this book. Added to that we also see the character react brilliantly when faced with what must be a very tempting offer. Brilliantly, and very true to Vexana’s nature.

Amilcar Pinna and Ulises Arreola combine for a comic that, again, has moments that are visually solid and moments that are less so. For every panel that pulls you into the comic (there’s a great close-up of the titular character’s eyes) there’s one that makes you stop to try and figure it out. The flying fish, for example. It’s not that the art is bad, but the moments in which you need the art to be strong to balance the script… it isn’t.

The Forgotten Queen #4 has none of the quibbles I had regarding the previous issue. Instead it surpasses my expectations with what I thought would be possible with a series focusing on War Monger. If you’re a Valiant fan, it’s absolutely worth reading this series. Whether War Monger will play a larger part in the future of Valiant, I don’t know. But, it never hurts to gain additional insight into a character that hasn’t had the spotlight in recent years.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Amilcar Pinna
 Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powel 
Story: 7.1 Art: 7.3 Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Forgotten Queen #4 (of 4)

THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN #4 (of 4)

Written by TINI HOWARD 
Art by AMILCAR PINNA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by KANO
Cover B by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
Cover C by HANNAH TEMPLER
On sale May 29th, 2019
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color 

Vexana’s true origin story is revealed! How does it change the history of the Valiant Universe? You thought you had family drama? Try being an immortal conqueror!

THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN #4 (of 4)

Sci-Fi Mayhem Unfolds in Fallen World #2

Savage sword fights, rampaging robot dinosaurs, and an unrelenting army of… blood soldiers?! Fallen World #2 (of 5) transports you to the ferocious world of 4002 A.D. as a cyborg samurai and an immortal fighter struggle to strike down an immensely powerful foe. How can they defeat a virtually unstoppable enemy… or are they simply delaying the inevitable?

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by SANFORD GREENE
Cover B by DECLAN SHALVEY
Cover C by NIK VIRELLA

Get ready for the second thrilling chapter in Valiant’s explosive event series! Rai’s creator and most dangerous foe has returned! The cyborg samurai faces an impossible challenge. Can he stop his greatest enemy from gaining even more power? How many more positronic dinosaurs will have to die for Rai to save the future?

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JUNE 5th

Fallen World #2

Review: Fallen World #1

Fallen World #1

In the year 4002, a cyborg samurai named Rai struggles to find his morality, while the nanite-filled supersoldier Bloodshot is on a mission to save the citizens of Earth. Will they work together for the greater good? All signs point to no.

If you’ve read 4001 A.D. and the final arc of Rai, then you’ll know that New Japan has fallen to Earth after a battle between Rai and Father that cost millions their lives. But if you didn’t read those comics, then it doesn’t matter; Fallen World #1 is packed to the gills with some early arc world building and explanations through judicious use of the often underrated narration boxes. The first few pages in this book feel like they were taken from a twenty year old comic – and I say this as a positive thing because Forgotten World #1 is one of the most accessible comics for newcomers to Valiant.

Written by Dan Abnett with art by Adam Polina and colours by Ulises Arreola this book represents a long awaited return to Valiant’s future timeline, and while there are some minor stumbles, over all the comic doesn’t disappoint. Fallen World #1 follows the characters from the 4001 A.D. story in their new grounded reality; Rai, Bloodshot, the Eternal Warrior, the Geomancer and other former citizens of New Japan – both human and positronic (think artificially intelligent humanoids) as they try to adapt to their new surroundings and (re)build their society.

The artistic stumbles previously mentioned largely come about in the second half of the comic in the figures and forms on the page; though I am aware that what may be a stumble for me could be your favourite moment in the comic. For me, it was only really noticeable because the rest of the book has a very high standard of quality.

As a launching point for a new miniseries, this is a really good comic. But Fallen World #1 is also a launching point for a new era of Valiant’s future time line – and it takes that challenge and [insert random sports analogy here denoting massive success]. This issue has me genuinely excited for what comes next.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Adam Pollina
Colors: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powell
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.8 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

War-Monger and Eternal Warrior Battle Dracula in The Forgotten Queen #4

It’s the War-Monger and Eternal Warrior vs. Dracula in the gripping conclusion of writer Tini Howard and artist Amiclar Pinna’s limited series! Issue 3’s cliffhanger dropped an enormous bombshell, so what will that mean for the Valiant Universe moving forward? Find out in the final chapter of The Forgotten Queen!

THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN #4 (of 4)

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by AMILCAR PINNA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by KANO
Cover B by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
Cover C by HANNAH TEMPLER
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MAY 29th

  • Vexana’s true origin story is revealed! How does it change the history of the Valiant Universe?
  • You thought you had family drama? Try being an immortal conqueror.
  • It wouldn’t be the final issue of THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN without some killer action!

Review: The Forgotten Queen #3

The Forgotten Queen #3

One of Valiant’s deadliest villains continues to wage war wherever she goes! 

Heartbreak and violence as the woman known as War-Monger meets her match in the deserts of Mongolia. Seeking vengeance, Vexana the War-Monger finds a kindred spirit in the man who would become to be known as Dracula – Vlad Tepes, warlord of Wallachia!

The Forgotten Queen #3 has a wonderfully understated plot that is able to keep the reader utterly engaged as it divides its time between the past and the present, tying together both stories as the issue progresses.

I’ve been enjoying the series so far, but this issue has been the highlight for me as Tini Howard gives you a surprisingly deep insight into what had been a fairly two dimensional character. I had never felt that War Monger ever had the depth to be considered anything other than a threat (unlike, say the villains who could be heroes, or the villains who at least have understandable motives), but as The Forgotten Queent has progressed, Howard has been able to change my perception of the character slowly and organically as we learn more about the immortal hell raiser as she moves through the years.

There’s also a slight growth to the character over the seven hundred years the story spans; a maturing of sorts that opens a door for further character growth to be explored. If the goal of this series was to flesh out Vexana, the War Monger, then Tini Howard has certainly succeeded; and with an issue still to come, I’m excited to see how she caps off the miniseries after the final page’s casual revelation.

Amilcar Pinna and Ulises Arreola once again are give a variety of different times and locales to flex their collective artistic muscles. Whether intentional or not the colour pallet begins to form a cohesiveness as the time periods in the comic close up, subconsciously allowing the reader to make the distinction between time periods without being explicitly told; it’s a brave choice that pays off as the issue comes to a satisfying close.

The Forgotten Queen #3 has none of the quibbles I had regarding the previous issue, instead surpassing my expectations with what I thought would be possible with a series focusing on War Monger. If you’re a Valiant fan, then it’s absolutely worth reading this series – whether War Monger will play a larger part in the future of Valiant, I don’t know, but it never hurts to gain an additional insight into a character that hasn’t had the spotlight in recent years.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Amilcar Pinna
 Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powel 
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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